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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 469

Paragraph Numbers 257 to 263

Volume 2

Chapter 5

Subsection 33


257 The Inkatha-affiliated union, the United Workers’ Union of South Africa (UWUSA) was launched by Inkatha in May 1986 with considerable covert funding from the SAP’s Security Branch. UWUSA served to check COSATU's progress, but also generated conflict in the work place because of its aggressive pro-Inkatha and anti-sanctions stance. In June 1986, UWUSA members killed eleven COSATU-affiliated miners and injured 115 others in clashes at the Hlobane colliery, near Vryheid. Conflict continued in the months following and in May 1987, the Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court granted National Union of Mineworkers members from the colliery an interdict restraining UWUSA members from assaulting them.

The KwaZulu Police

258 The KZP was created by statute in February 1981 and had jurisdiction over the largest and most populous dormitory townships in the former KwaZulu homeland. It was disbanded in 1994, with many of its members being incorporated into the newly established South African Police Services.

259 From its inception, the role of the KZP was controversial, and allegations of political bias in favour of Inkatha, and later the IFP, were levelled against it up to the date of its disbandment in 1994.

260 The official policy of the KZP, stated in 1990 by the public relations officer of the force was that its members “may not belong to any political party.” Whilst force members may not have been active members of the Inkatha, evidence submitted to the Commission shows that the KZP was a highly politicised, biased and partial police force, and was openly supportive of the IFP.

261 From the outset, Inkatha president Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi was the Minister of Police for the KwaZulu Government. Furthermore, during the most critical period of political conflict in the province, from 1989 to 1992, the commissioner of the KZP was Major General J H ('Jac') Buchner, a former officer in the SAP Security Branch. Buchner was described by former police captain Dirk Coetzee as “one of South Africa’s top security policemen”, who had “established himself as a brilliant and ruthless opponent of the ANC - as interrogator, state witness, logistics expert and planner of raids on neighbouring states”. Amongst other things, Buchner had been responsible for the recruitment and training of askaris (or former ANC guerrillas captured and induced to work for the South African security forces).

262 A full report on the role of the KZP is not possible in this chapter, but examples of the KZP’s active participation in serious political violence are given by way of window cases below.

Political bias, incompetence and general misconduct

263 In June 1992, the Durban branches of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) and the Human Rights Commission (HRC) published a report entitled Obstacle to Peace: the Role of the KwaZulu Police in the Natal Conflict. In the report, the HRC and LRC used court records, affidavits, witness statements and other documents to describe numerous abuses by the KZP, which contributed to the conflict in Natal. Among the abuses documented were the following :

a Murder and assault of persons perceived to be political opponents of Inkatha;

b Abduction of ANC-aligned or non-Inkatha activists;

c Participation or collusion with vigilante groups in the intimidation and attack of individuals accused of not supporting Inkatha;

d Failure to intervene to prevent attacks by Inkatha members carried out in the presence of the KZP;

e Maltreatment and torture of detainees;

f Firebombing of homes;

g Disruption of funerals, memorial services and meetings of non-Inkatha groups;

h Contravention of court orders forbidding harassment of individuals or communities;

i Supply of weapons to notorious gang members;

j Failure to render medical assistance to critically injured persons;

k Failure to respond to calls for assistance or to investigate incidents involving Inkatha supporters;

l Action outside the boundaries of KwaZulu and failure to co-operate with the SAP;

m Failure to keep proper records, to admit that detainees or bodies are being held, or to co-operate with lawyers seeking to represent clients in accordance with the terms of the law.

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